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PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) LLP
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Vault’s Verdict

One of the prestigious Big 4 professional services firms, PwC is looking for hardworking, motivated, driven candidates with professional demeanors, solid academic records, and strong critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership skills. PwC’s extremely valuable internship program provides students with excellent training, hands-on client-facing experience, and exposure to senior staff, who are willing to help and answer any questions interns might have. Interns are essentially treated like full-time staff, getting an accurate picture of full-time roles. For its full-time staff, PwC offers extensive career growth opportunities, including internal mobility options, great mentoring, clear promotion paths, challenging work, and the ability to drive your own career.

During the busy tax seasons, there’s no avoiding the long hours. Also, during busy periods, stress can be high. However, outside of busy periods, a healthy work/life balance can easily be achieved. The firm offers a lot of schedule flexibility, hybrid work options, a generous PTO policy, and a general understanding of outside commitments. Salaries are competitive, though some insiders say they could be better, and benefits and perks are generous. Insiders especially appreciate the parental leave policies, firmwide holidays, remote work options, and numerous wellness offerings, which include counseling, fitness apps, gym reimbursements, an on-site gym, meditation during the workday, wellness competitions, well-being coaches, and more.

PwC is among the industry leaders when it comes DEI and ESG. The firm is very diverse at the staff levels, and is focused on improving the hiring and support of women, LGBTQ+ individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, veterans, and disabled people. The firm is also committed to ESG practices, allowing employees to volunteer a certain number of hours without having to use time off, and supports ESG engagements for clients as well. As for PwC’s overall business outlook, it is strong. Despite some staff shortages, which most accounting firms have been experiencing, PwC continues to grow and is well-positioned to continue to thrive, regardless of the economic climate.

Hiring Process

“Interviews and callbacks are done quickly, and we try to respond and extend offers with minimal turnaround. We are seeking highly motivated, driven individuals with good critical thinking and problem-solving skills.”

“Applicants are selected for interviews based on resumes. Candidates have two back-to-back 30-minute interviews (each interview with a single PwC manager-or-higher employee) in which they are rated on their responses to questions that are based on the five dimensions of the PwC Professional Framework. Candidates that are selected receive an informal phone call extending the offer within two to three days of the interview (sometimes the same day). An ideal candidate will have thoughtful responses to the interview questions that demonstrate skills related to the dimensions, as well as demonstrate a professional demeanor and attitude.”

“The interview process is meant for the employee to get a peek into the type of people that work at PwC and for the interviewers to connect with the interviewee. I believe PwC’s ideal candidate is someone willing to put the work and hours in, somebody who knows that they do not know, and is not afraid to ask questions.”

“Interview and callback process is succinct and efficient. I think all in all, I recruited for a month, maybe two, from the time I had my first interview to signing my offer letter. I think the firm is looking for people with a solid scholarly background who want to learn and grow quickly, put themselves out there in college to challenge themselves, and is a natural born leader of people.”

Interview Questions

“Why would you choose public over private accounting? Describe a time you worked with a team and the challenges you overcame. Tell me about a time when you had to communicate your point of view to others. Describe a time when you were able to complete a complicated new assignment with some guidance. Tell me about a time when you had to reach out to others with whom you were unfamiliar for assistance.”

“Tell me about yourself. Tell me about a time you were working in a group and things were not going as planned, what did you do, how did it turn out? Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a challenging individual and how you responded to the situation.”

“Questions included describing times when I had solved a problem with a team, times when I had led a team, times when I had faced a tough challenge and how I overcame it, what opportunities regarding the job are most exciting, etc.”

“Describe a situation at work when you encountered an unfamiliar problem while working on a project. Describe a work situation when you needed the commitment of others to use your idea or suggestion on a task. Tell me about a time when you incorporated new ideas or technological innovations into a work assignment.”

Internship Experience

“My internship was amazing because I was able to do a hybrid of virtual and in-person interaction. My entire team and everyone else that I met were willing to help me out in any way and contributed to me learning something new every day.”

“The best aspects were the incredible learning experiences, opportunities to work with Fortune 100 companies, and top-notch training. This all made the internship a great experience. There was a deep learning curve, but I felt that was unavoidable.”

“Hands-on work experience with really bright and motivated people. Client-facing roles from the very beginning. People are eager to help and teach you. Coworkers routinely help you progress. Sometimes you might get projects late in the day and might have to stay extra to finish.”

“As an intern, I was able to complete the work of a new hire, which showed me exactly what my job would be like full time. The long hours were the most challenging part of the experience, but I am also grateful to have had such an accurate first experience of what the rest of my time at the firm would be like. Additionally, I learned an incredible amount, and I met people who are still friends and mentors today.”

Career Development

“There are endless opportunities for career development. The firm encourages everyone to speak up and be proactive about seeking out opportunities that are best suited to their long-term career goals. Maybe the best aspect is having a group of people dedicated to my individual success and career goals. If I’m interested in switching lines of service or finding new opportunities to take advantage of, I know who to turn to.”

“If you're willing to look, you constantly have opportunities to get exposure to new things. Whether you're seeking a more advanced role in your current group, want to do a rotation in the firm's digital transformation, or want to pick up and move to a new city or team, the firm has opportunities to do so.”

“The best aspect is the opportunity to develop skills. PwC provides excellent access to training and skills development. Also, ask for mentorship and you shall receive. People are willing to invest in you if you ask them to!”

“I have the best mentors who not only care about my career but also care about me on an individual level. Promotion policies are good, and it’s easy to move around, but there isn’t enough time for formal and informal training.”

Quality of Life

“Client service is always going to be a very demanding field, and the shortages in staffing across the industry are making it more challenging. But PwC is highly supportive of protected time. I feel empowered to take my own vacation time, and I also support my teams when it comes to taking their scheduled time off or planning their schedules to meet outside commitments.”

“You work lots of hours and it’s easy to feel like you aren’t doing a good job, but the culture is great and we’re often harder on ourselves than those around us are. Because of the hours worked, teams truly get to know each other and care for each other! The firm is also pretty flexible and considerate when reasonable requests are made.”

“Like all accounting firms, there is a period of the year that is very stressful, and work/life balance can be difficult to achieve during these busier periods of the year. However, PwC provides opportunities to its employees to disconnect and unwind around this stressful period, allowing its employees to perform optimally. They also make sure concerns are communicated and heard, and ensure that employees don’t reach a ‘breaking point’ during the busiest periods.”

“A lot of hours are required when you’re working on public issuers and deliverables that go out to the client, as there is a lot of risk involved. In a lot of cases, you have the ability to manage your own schedule. If you’re able to get your work done, with high quality, when it needs to get done, you can fill your schedule however you please, which affords the ability for flexibility.”

Salary and Benefits

“Great parental leave and vacation time. Definitely a focus on wellbeing. 401(k) match could use improvement.”

“The best aspect is the benefit and perks package. It contributes to work/life balance. The salary is great for an entry-level salary.”

“Sometimes I don’t feel like I am compensated enough for the number of hours I put into the job, but the perks and rewards are very generous, and help ensure that I feel well compensated compared to competing firms.”

“Salary is solid, but pay can be more competitive. I have been very impressed with the benefits PwC offers, especially the health insurance provided. The firm takes great care of its members. They offer 12-week parental leave (paternal and maternal), and they offer generous vacation days along with firmwide holidays. There are also offerings for hybrid or full-remote work arrangements.”

Wellness Efforts

“PwC offers a plethora of wellness efforts, including counseling, discounts to gym memberships, access to an on-site gym, meditation practices during the workday, inclusion groups that meet regularly, wellness competitions with your teams, leadership speaker series, and much more.”

“PwC offers many discounts for physical and mental programs/memberships. Depending on the office, we also have instructors come in for evening yoga/cardio/exercise classes, and there are many online resources (such as webinars, infographics, etc.) at our disposal too.”

“We have Be Well, Work Well in place that is centered on six dimensions of well-being (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, and social). We can earn cash rewards for tracking healthy activities, have technical resources to enhance our well-being, LifeWell resources, TalkSpace mental health services, well-being coaching, and many others practices and tools.

“There are many programs and apps that we can utilize for free or discounted rates. Ginger Health for counseling. Discounted Peloton equipment. Free access to many fitness apps. Free access to many mental health apps. Two weeks per year where the entire firm shuts down (July and December).”

Diversity, Philanthropy, and Green Initiatives

“I identify as LGBTQ+ and never once felt uncomfortable or discriminated against. Everyone is supportive. The firm goes overboard with inclusivity for minorities. Ten years ago, I never thought I would say this, but the diversity in the people I work and interact with is one of the best parts of the firm. It’s been great getting to know other people and learn from different perspectives (regardless of race, gender, etc.), while fostering personal and professional growth.”

“PwC is incredibly transparent with how our firm is measuring against aggressive DEI goals that our leadership set out a few years ago. We're making far more female and minority partners at the firm than ever before, our start classes of new associates and interns are more diverse now, and our firm has a focus on highlighting and supporting minorities to progress in their careers here.”

“In my area, the firm is very diverse, and everyone works together well and has a strong team relationship. It’s great to see LGBTQ+ individuals open, supported, and thriving, and great to see the recognition and promotion of individuals of different races and genders for top roles at the firm. It’s also great to see some focus on enhancing opportunities for those with disabilities and veterans. I’m a proud member of our Ally network and sponsor a number of LGBTQ+ members, women, and members of different race backgrounds. The firm also allows people to go and volunteer up to a certain number of hours without having to use time off.”

“The firm is committed to ESG practices and supporting ESG engagements for clients. There’s a lot of support from leadership for local, national, and global philanthropic opportunities for employees. The firm remains committed to diversity in hiring, recruiting, promotion, and leadership, and being transparently and vocally supportive of diversity. They publish diversity benchmarks, and work has begun to increase pathways for racial and ethnic minorities, especially Black accountants, but more work can and should be done.”

Business Outlook

“Since I work in a stable industry and at the top accounting firm, I've never once been scared about all the layoffs at other firms in other industries. Our outlook is invincible. Morale is high, and the atmosphere isn't overly competitive.”

“The firm is well-positioned to continue to drive growth in several key areas. Any economic downturn is likely to increase the need for our services, and our strategic investments have been made with that in mind. Only difficulty is resource allocation continues to be a challenge. Many practices have experienced turnover and growth at the same time, such that they are thin on headcount.”

“The company is in a very strong position from a financial perspective. We continue to exceed growth goals, with no signs of slowing. We are bound to be the largest tax practice in the U.S., given a top competitor's restructuring. However, employee morale sometimes suffers due to a continued push to work extensive hours to achieve lofty growth goals.”

“I recently had a chance to meet the head partner, Tim Ryan, and he is very honest and transparent. He gave me a good feel about how the firm's outlook is shaping up for the next 12 months. And the outlook looks strong. Even during Covid, the firm didn't make any layoffs. We continue to grow and provide great opportunities for employees.”

PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) LLP

300 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (646) 471-4000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private Partnership
U.S. Chairman & Senior Partner: Tim Ryan
Vice Chair - US Trust Solutions Co-Leader: Kathryn Kaminsky
Vice Chair - US Trust Solutions Co-Leader: Wesley Bricker
2021 Employees (All Locations): 72,129

Major Office Locations


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Audit and Assurance
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Risk and regulatory
Tax services